Spoilers are precisely defined here. Rules vary by the story's medium. Info from television stories can't be added here until after the top or bottom of the hour, British time, closest to the end credits roll on BBC One. Therefore, fans in the Americas who are sensitive to spoilers should avoid Tardis on Sundays until they've seen the episode.


IndexTimey-wimey detector → Timeline - Jack Harkness
Spoilers aren't cool here.
(Try The Howling, instead.)

This page lists appearances of Captain Jack Harkness in the order he experienced them. This timeline is based upon observations of the Doctor Who universe and the events that occur during each of these stories. From these observations we have attempted to build a concise timeline. It is assumed that for each novel, comic, audio or television series, their published, broadcast or numbered order is the order they occur in.

Limiting factors[]

Any story with the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler must be after TV: The Doctor Dances and before TV: Bad Wolf. Any story with Jack waiting on 19th and 20th century Earth must be after TV: The Parting of the Ways and before TV: Everything Changes. Any story with Gwen, Ianto, Owen and Tosh must be after TV: Everything Changes and before TV: End of Days or after TV: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang and before TV: Exit Wounds. Any story where Owen is dead, but still mobile must be set after TV: Dead Man Walking and before TV: Exit Wounds. Any story where Gwen is married to Rhys must be after TV: Something Borrowed. Any story with Gwen and Ianto must be after TV: Exit Wounds and before TV: Children of Earth: Day One.


Captain Jack Harkness was briefly an original to Doctor Who television companion of the Ninth Doctor, travelling with him through time and space. After being trapped with a broken vortex manipulator in 1869, with few opportunities to time travel over the next century, he later joins Torchwood Three, though the majority of his stories told are set after Gwen Cooper's recruitment to Torchwood in 2007 in the premiere episode of Torchwood, with remaining stories or scenes set before then occurring in flashback.

His adventures with 21st century Torchwood Three and the related Torchwood team in America that was formed after the destruction of the Hub can be categorised as these original to Torchwood television lineups:



Javic plays on the beach with his father and brother. (TV: Adam)
An unknown enemy invades Javic's homeland, killing many of its inhabitants. His father told Javic to flee with Gray, while he went back for their mother. As they ran, Gray stumbled and Javic let go of his hand. Javic continued to run, thinking Gray behind him. Javic hid in a bush while the invaders flew overhead. He returns home hoping to find his brother, but found only his distraught mother sitting beside his dead father. (TV: Adam)
Javic Piotr Thane is an orphan, setting this some time after the attack on the Boeshane Peninsula. He is rescued from an attack on his orphanage by River Song, who teaches him that the monsters will never catch him so long as he keeps running.

The Time Agency[]

Javic investigates a time disturbances in 15th century England. He finds that River Song is posing as Elizabeth I and together they fight android duplicates. Upon his return to the Time Agency, Javic finds that River is there posing as is new boss. She calls him "Jack Harkness", a name which he decidedly likes before wiping his memory with Hallucinogenic lipstick.
In 5067, Jack and John are sent by the Time Agency to Mogar and encounter Vervoids.
Jack is working for the Time Agency and goes undercover on a space cruiser to steal plans for a Pulsar manipulator. He is known by the name "Captain Harkness".
On the Dragana pleasure planet, Captain Harkness assassinates Zloy Volk with an Eradicator X7, on the orders of the Time Agency.
Captain Harkness fights Krillitane in the Wild West.
Captain Harkness faces a horde of Weeping Angels with John Hart.
Captain Harkness discovers that Zloy Volk wasn’t a criminal and instead was developing free time travel for everyone.
Having discovered the Time Agency's corruption, Captain Harkness is warned off by the Shadow Architect. Harkness initially tries to keep in line following his slap on the wrist, but eventually begins questioning everything about the Time Agency.
Javic Piotr Thane is working as a Time Agent. He discovers that two years of his memory is missing. He meets - and later sleeps with - his future self.
Captain John draws attention to the fact these stories are taking place before he and Jack have assumed their aliases.
Harkness confronts John Hart about his missing memories.

Working as a con man[]

Jack Harkness is stationed in London during World War II. He recognises River faintly from their previous encounters. They fight vortex wraiths together before River uses her hallucinogenic lipstick on him once again.

Joining The Doctor and Rose[]

Rose and the Doctor meet rogue Time Agent Jack Harkness while dealing with a plague in 1941 London. Ending leads directly into The Doctor Dances.
Intending to sacrifice himself to destroy the Empty Child plague, Jack is saved by the Doctor and joins the TARDIS team.
The Doctor is abrasive towards Jack, setting this early in their travels together.
Jack visits 21st century London for the first time and the Doctor is still abrasive towards him.

Recovering his missing memories[]

Jack tells the Unon that he has only just met the Doctor and Rose, setting this shortly after The Doctor Dances. The Doctor places his mind up for auction on Fluren's World.
Taggani mentions the Doctor putting his mind up for sale during Weapons of Past Destruction. According to Doctormania, this is set soon after Weapons of Past Destruction.
The Doctor and Rose bring Jack to the 21st century, setting this after Only Human.
According to the previously bio, some time has passed since Weapons of Past Destruction. The Doctor refers to the events of Weapons of Past Destruction and Hacked. After dealing with Slist Fayflut Marteveerthon Slitheen's impersonation of him, the Doctor is called to San Francisco by Mickey Smith, leading directly into The Transformed.
The Doctor helps Mickey deal with a gargoyle mutation caused by a wormhole, but one gargoyle that Rose befriended goes through the wormhole, leading into Official Secrets.
Jack finds a picture of himself dressed as a 17th century priest among the UNIT files. Tara Mishra stows away in the TARDIS, thus becoming a member of the TARDIS crew.
Set immediately after Official Secrets, with the TARDIS crew investigating the painting found in the UNIT files and taking Tara on her first trip back in time. After finding out someone he had assassinated may still be alive, Jack takes his leave of the TARDIS team.
The Doctor, Rose and Tara use Memgram to track down Jack. Ending leads directly into The Bidding War.
While connected to the Memgram, Rose has a vision of her cyber-conversion in Supremacy of the Cybermen. Addison Delamar tricks Jack using a Sin-Eater. After defeating the Cybermen, Jack rejoins the TARDIS and Tara decides to temporarily remain on Nomicae to help nurse those injured in the cyber-attack.
The Doctor takes Rose to be healed from the events of The Bidding Wars, while Jack picks up Tara. The Doctor and Rose meet Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint, while Jack and Tara end up on Skaro.

Final adventures with the Doctor and Rose[]

Prior to the events of Boom Town, the Doctor, Jack and Rose eat Kronkburgers together, and Jack saves the Doctor from an assassination attempt by River Song.
While reencountering the Margaret Blaine Slitheen, the Doctor's TARDIS severely damages the Cardiff rift. After a fight with Mickey, Rose learns that the heart of the TARDIS can be used to fulfill desires. With Blon Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen regressed back into an egg, the Doctor intends to take her to a hatchery on Raxacoricofallapatorius.
The Ninth Doctor is on his "date" with Blon Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen. River leaves as soon as the earthquake starts.
Jackie mentions the events of Boom Town.
Rose has visited Woman Wept and Raxacoricofallapatorius, setting this after Boom Town. The TARDIS team spend a month on 23rd century New Vegas investigating the Whisper.
Set immediately before Bad Wolf, with the TARDIS team visiting Kyoto, Japan in 1336.
Ending leads directly into The Parting of the Ways.
Finding that the Dalek Emperor has resurrected the Daleks by converting the human race, the Doctor sends Rose home to protect her from a delta wave he intends to use to kill both the humans and Daleks. Jack and the inhabitants of Satellite Five are all killed by the Daleks. Before the Doctor can be killed, Rose, having used the heart of the TARDIS to absorb the Time Vortex, returns and atomises the Dalek fleet, and restores Jack to life.

Discovering his Immortality[]

Eventually Jack decided to use his vortex manipulator to travel back to 21st century Cardiff, the site of the space-time rift, in order to wait for the Doctor. However his vortex manipulator malfunctioned and he became stranded in the 19th century. (TV: Utopia)

Association with Torchwood[]

After being killed in a bar fight, Jack is discovered following his resurrection by Alice Guppy and Emily Holroyd. They recruit Jack into Torchwood Three while he waits for the Doctor to turn back up in Cardiff. (TV: Fragments)
Set in 17 May 1899. Jack is temporarily seconded to Torchwood One.
In 1900, Nicholas I causes the creation of the Committee. He gifts Object 1 to Victoria who enters it into the Torchwood Archive. Later that year, she gives it to Jack to dispose of, who takes it to Cardiff where he plans to wait for the Doctor.
Set in 1902.
In 1909 while travelling through Lahore, Jack witnesses a troop of fifteen men killed by the Fairies after they accidentally ran over a Chosen One the previous week. (TV: Small Worlds)
In 1914, Jack throws the red key into the Rift and causes the creation of the Weevils.
Torchwood India sends Object 1 to Jack in 1924
Jack meets Angelo Colasanto in 1927 New York City. They develop a romantic relationship and Angelo becomes Jack's companion. However after a betrayal of trust, Jack leaves Angelo behind. (TV: Immortal Sins)
Set in August 1941.
Set in 1965, Jack is walking with a woman and Clement McDonald when he discovers a de-aged Scott Thrower, whom he decided will be the twelfth child to give to the 456, leading into the Children of Earth flashbacks.
In 1965 Jack gives twelve children to the The 456 in exchange for an antidote to a mutated strain of Indonesian influenza. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Four)
On New Year's Eve 1999, Alex Hopkins hands Torchwood Three over to Jack and subsequently kills himself, unwilling to face the threats to come in the 21st century. (TV: Fragments)
Jack has spent one hundred years waiting for the Doctor and is now at the point where he is actively searching for him, suggesting an early 21st century placement. He has met River Song. Jack recalls having been to the Red Dragon Centre, which was named in the real world in the year 2000.

Assembling a New Torchwood Three[]

In 2003 or 2004, Toshiko Sato is imprisoned by UNIT after stealing plans for a Sonic modulator and building one herself. Jack Harkness rescues her and offers her a job at Torchwood Three, which she accepts. (TV: Fragments)
In 2004, Suzie Costello calls Yvonne Hartman to inform her about the Ovid sex dolls. Suzie and Jack plan to get rid of Object 1 by passing it on to Torchwood One. Yvonne speaks to Ianto, setting this after the Blind Summit flashback. (AUDIO: The Torchwood Archive)
In November 2006, Jack takes Idris Hopper out for dinner a month after the events of Boom Town. He retcons Idris to forget about him and the Doctor. (PROSE: The Twilight Streets)

Day trips with Jackie Tyler[]

Set in 2007 while Rose Tyler is travelling with the Tenth Doctor. Jack is hanging around the Powell Estate incase the Doctor and Rose come back. He meets Jackie Tyler for the first time.
Jack has visited Jackie Tyler several times since the events of Wednesdays for Beginners. He takes her into space for the first time.
Jack stops by the Powell Estate to visit Jackie, but finds River Song already there.

Leading Torchwood Three[]

After the Battle of Canary Wharf, Ianto Jones seeks out a new job at Torchwood Three. Initially he is rejected by Jack, but after Ianto helps to capture a rogue Pterodactyl, Jack welcomes him into the team. (TV: Fragments)
Gwen is recruited.
Gwen's first day on the job.
Gwen is still inexperienced with weapons. Set 66 years after 1941.
Set in Cardiff, 2007. Gwen has recently joined Torchwood. (AUDIO: Army of One)
Rhys mentions a co-worker called Lucy who has been on a diet recently, foreshadowing Slow Decay. Gwen has been working for Torchwood for a few weeks now and has experience with weapons, setting this after Ghost Machine.
Set in October 2007.
Ianto keeps something secret in the hub.
Ianto first enters the ferret the night after Lisa dies. A few days later Jack takes Ianto out to hunt Weevils. Later when Ianto returns to the Ferret, he is given advice by Mandy. The next day, Jack is contacted by Estelle Cole and takes Gwen with him instead of Ianto, leading directly into Small Worlds. (AUDIO: Broken)
Jack and Ianto fight Scorchies at the Millennium Centre. Ianto opens up to Jack about his life before the battle of Canary Wharf and how the loss of Lisa has affected him. This leads to him being invited on a mission to the Brecon Beacons for a few days, leading into Countrycide. (AUDIO: Broken)
Horrified by what he witnessed in Countrycide, Ianto attempts suicide before being talked down by Mandy. He returns to work the following day. (AUDIO: Broken)
Ianto visits the Ferret on the night that Jack killed Mary. Jack enters the Ferret on the same night investigating rift activity. (AUDIO: Broken)
Set three months after Everything Changes.
Jack has left Torchwood before.
Jack decides to return to Torchwood Three.
Jack is kidnapped while he and Gwen are on patrol.
Owen is visibly upset by the events of Out of Time in this story. He calls off his affair with Gwen.
Jack and Ianto are in a relationship, setting this after Broken. The team don’t know that Jack is immortal yet, setting this before Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
Continues where Captain Jack Harkness left off. Jack disappears from Torchwood.

The Year That Never Was[]

Set during the events of Last of the Time Lords.
River visits Jack during his incarceration aboard the valiant. She provides him with a means to escape so he can join Martha in her final stand against the Master.

Return To Torchwood Three[]

Gwen has started taking charge more in Jack's absence, in comparison to Captain Jack Harkness, where Owen was said to be second-in-command. Gwen is now engaged to Rhys.
Torchwood deals with an attack by Cell 114, and are made aware that other sleeper agents are on Earth.
Set after Sleeper, Jack and Ianto spend a period of some weeks undercover to destroy the last of Cell 114.
Occurs on Friday 20th of June, 114 years after 1894.
Tosh recalls To the Last Man but Rhys does not yet know about Torchwood.
Set in 2008. To the Last Man is referenced and Rhys does not appear to be aware of Torchwood.
Set between Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang and Reset.
Set 4 July 2008. Rhys knows about Torchwood, setting this after Meat. However Owen is still alive, setting this before Reset.
Jack gives Gwen two plane tickets to Paris, setting this shortly before Adam
Gwen has just returned from a trip to Paris with Rhys.
Rhys knows about Torchwood, setting this after Meat. However Owen has not died yet, setting this before Reset.
Owen has not died yet, setting this before Reset.
Jack, Gwen, Ianto, Owen and Tosh are all present in the hub. Jack and Ianto are in a relationship. Owen does not appear to be dead.
Set in August 2008. 22 months have passed since Jack last encountered Idris Hopper. Rhys is aware of the existence of Torchwood, setting this after Meat. However Owen is still alive, setting this before Reset.
Continues where Reset left off. Owen is resurrected, but with no lifesigns.
Set three days after Reset.
Gwen is engaged, setting this between Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Something Borrowed.
The team know that Jack is immortal, setting this after Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.
Owen is undead, setting this after A Day in the Death. Gwen is about to get married, setting this before Something Borrowed.
Set Halloween, 2008.
Set on Halloween night and into early November. Owen is undead, setting this after A Day in the Death. However Gwen and Rhys are finalising plans for their wedding, setting this before Something Borrowed.
Gwen and Rhys get married.
Set during the first day after Gwen’s return from honeymoon.
Gwen and Rhys have just returned from their honeymoon and two weeks have passed since Something Borrowed. Toshiko is working on the Time lock. Gwen has been with Torchwood for roughly a year. Two years have passed since Owen joined Torchwood, while a couple of months have passed since Reset. It is mentioned several times that it is September, however this conflicts with several other dates given.
Rhys recalls an alien appearing at his wedding, setting this after Something Borrowed.
Gwen mentions the Nostrovite, placing this story after Something Borrowed.
Owen is undead, setting this after A Day in the Death. The team know that people can be taken away by the rift, setting this after Adrift.
At least 21 months after the battle of Canary Wharf, according to Ianto's flashback.
Continues where Fragments left off. Owen and Tosh die. In 1901, Jack asks to be frozen for 107 years so that he'd wake up in what he'd consider 'the present', setting this in 2008.

Coping without Tosh and Owen[]

Martha meets Jack for the first time since Owen and Tosh's funeral. In the real world, The Large Hadron Collider was switched on, on the 10 September 2008 which was also the date this story was released. However no dialogue in the story supports this placement and it conflicts with other dates given.
The events of Exit Wounds are recent. Jack and Ianto are left to run Torchwood alone while Gwen is holidaying in Tenerife.
Andy is still a PC. 1909 was “nearly one hundred years ago, setting this around 2008.

The Torchwood Trio[]

Jack, Gwen and Ianto celebrate New Year's Eve together. This story conflicts Fragments being set in 2009.
Its still early in the new year.
Two months have passed since the events of Voyage of the Damned, setting this in February 2009. Jack is reunited with The Tenth Doctor and Martha Jones.
Torchwood meet Nina Rogers.
The door to the Hub is still damaged from the Dalek attack. Torchwood Three have a boat called the Sea Queen. It is destroyed by the end of the story.
Set at least after Journey's End. UNIT and Torchwood are still running.
Preview to Risk Assessment.
Set in 2009. Torchwood Three have replaced the Sea Queen with the Sea Queen II.
Nina Rogers recalls the Dalek Invasion. She is 21 years old and Ianto is still alive, setting this at some point between July and September 2009.
Ianto has done Opera, setting this after Into the Silence.
Takes place 140 years after 1869 setting this in 2009.
Norton Folgate is aware that Ianto will die soon.
Jack is watched by The Committee while he plays with his dog, Untitled.

The 456 return[]

Ianto is killed after The 456 Flood Thames House with a virus that kills everyone inside the building.

Time away from Earth[]

Six months have passed since Ianto died, setting this in March 2010. Jack decides to leave Earth.
In March 2010, six months after the 456 incident, Jack leaves Earth. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Five)
Jack saves a soldier in Gallipoli. Set shortly after Ianto's death.[1]
Immediately after the events of What Have I Done?, Jack is visited by River where she reveals to him that she can’t die until she visits a particular restaurant. Jack and River get married, but the ceremony is interrupted by Snorvlast. The vortex wraiths appear and feast on Snorvlast. Jack and River then visit the end of Time for their honeymoon.
The Doctor sets Jack up with Midshipman Alonso Frame. Ending leads directly into One Enchanted Evening.
Jack and Alonso are separated after the space station they are on is attacked.

Battling the Three Families[]

Jack returns to Earth.
Jack and Gwen are taken to America.
Jack and Gwen return to the UK, along with Esther after End of the Road. The New World through End of the Road flow into one another.
Takes place a few months after End of the Road.
Continues where The Gathering left off.

Working alone[]

River meets Jack on Darillium towards the end of her 24 year stay, and River reveals to him that the Doctor is her husband.
Jack visits Cotter Paluni's World and has a vision of Gwen dying.
Set shortly after Red Skies with Jack returning to Cardiff to check on Gwen following his vision.

Joining the Ice Maiden[]

The Miracle ended a few months ago. Jack joins the crew of the Ice Maiden.
Jack, wearing his Torchwood "World War II" coat, is kidnapped by Adam Mitchell among companions of the Doctor but is soon freed by Frobisher. Leads into Endgame.
The first eleven Doctors rescue their companions from Adam and the Master.
Set five years after Jack and Gwen last saw each other, setting this around 2016.
Set in November 2016. Ending leads directly into Arena of Fear.
After escaping Mr Ebonite, Jack considers setting up a new Torchwood Base of operations underneath the Rockefeller Center.
Gwen is acting-head of Torchwood Three, while Jack is serving with the crew of the Ice Maiden. Ending leads directly into Station Zero.
Ending leads directly into The Culling.
Jack and Gwen part ways once again after defeating the Vervoids.
Jack Harkness unknowingly visits his own funeral looking for River.

Aliens Among Us[]

Having been "dumped" by the crew of the Ice Maiden, Jack has returned to duty at Torchwood Cardiff.
Gwen murders a suspicious Mary Cooper.
Gwen and Rhys attend Mary's funeral. Torchwood meet Orr for the first time. Changes Everything was a few weeks ago.
After helping Torchwood investigate a new hotel, Orr joins the team permanently.
Orr has only just joined the team. Rhys believes that Gwen hasn’t been herself for weeks, since before Mary died.
Ending leads directly into Poker Face.
Yvonne Hartman replaces Jack as leader of Torchwood and tells him to join Red Doors to put them to better use.
Jack is working with Red Doors.
A few months have passed since Changes Everything. Poker Face was a few days ago. Jack works with Orr to stop Red Doors after losing control of them and discovers the truth about Gwen and Ng.

God Among Us[]

Set a few weeks after Herald of the Dawn. Orr persuades Jack to rejoin Torchwood.
Jack believes he's become mortal since events of Herald of the Dawn. Ending leads directly into Night Watch.
Set weeks after Future Pain. Ending leads directly into Flight 405.
Jack believes his immortality was restored during Night Watch.
Jack is unequivocally immortal and mentions there being a team he can call upon.
The Empty Hand took place the previous year. Set weeks after Flight 405.
Set around two months after Eye of the Storm.
Ending leads directly into Thoughts and Prayers.
The Hub is destroyed again, and Torchwood go on the run from the Committee.

Encountering the Thirteenth Doctor[]

Jack meets Team TARDIS and learns that the Doctor is now a woman. Promising that he will see the Doctor when she needs him, he passes on a warning regarding the Lone Cyberman.
Jack gives Andy Davidson his vortex manipulator and sends him to the 1950s to stop Norton Folgate from dying early and creating temporal instabilities. (AUDIO: Parasite)
Learning that the Doctor has been imprisoned, Jack commits a number of crimes in order to be incarcerated in the same prison. (TV: Revolution of the Daleks)
Breaking the Doctor out of jail, Jack accompanies her as she returns to Team TARDIS in early 2021. After helping save the Earth from a Dalek attack, Jack parts ways with the Doctor and is keeping in touch with Gwen.
Jack rescues River from deep space when the Doctor is unavailable to help her. He mentions being needed for a lot of jailbreaks recently, setting this shortly after Revolution of the Daleks.

Far Future[]

Jack's hair has gone grey and he has become a mythical figure and legend within the universe.

The Face of Boe[]

In the year 200000, The Face of Boe claims to have fallen pregnant with Boemina. (TV: The Long Game)
The Face of Boe comes from the year 5000000000 to attend a party held in Hobbes End by Iris Wildthyme.
In the year 5000000000, the Face of Boe was the sponsor of an event to safely witness the destruction of the Earth by the expansion of the Sun. The hot water in his room on the platform observing the "Earth death" was not working. The event was sabotaged by Lady Cassandra, but the Face was among the remaining survivors.
By 5,000,000,023, the Face of Boe was hospitalised in Ward 26 of the hospital run by the Sisters of Plenitude on New Earth. By this time, he was the last of Boekind. The Face of Boe promises to reveal his final message to the Doctor during their third and last meeting.
The Face of Boe had his final meeting with the Doctor in the year 5,000,000,053. Boe revealed his last secret with his dying breath after sacrificing himself to save the city of New New York: "You are not alone".
The Face of Boe's funeral is held by the Sisterhood of Plenitude. River Song attends the funeral, and Jack Harkness briefly visits while looking for River.


At least after Superiority Complex, Jack and Orr go to Brent Hayden's speech.
Jack encounters River on a beach waiting for the Doctor To turn up for one of their dates. River tells him that her days with the Doctor are numbered as one of them is going to die soon. He asks her to run away with him. Jack and River are synchronised in their timelines and both recall their encounters with vortex wraiths.
Jack races dinosaurs with River Song in the Jurassic period. River tells Jack that her husband has left her to fight a war and won’t see him for a while.
Jack orders four duplicate robots of River song only for the real River to show up and promptly destroy them. They intend to talk their relationship through properly.
In 1969 New York, Jack Harkness shares a pizza with a homeless Melody Pond.
Jack, under the name Hark Jackness, fills in Bernice Summerfield's lecture at Luna University, which River is attending. Despite his alias and faux accent, River recognises him from their previous encounter. Together they fight off the vortex wraiths.
Jack Rescues River from an assassin while she is being transported to Stormcage. Jack to take her away from Stormcage, but she uses her Hallucinogenic lipstick on him and insists that she needs to stay.
Jack attends the funeral of Sarah Jane Smith.
Jack knows the Saxon Master and uses the TARDIS to retrieve Ianto, but also tries to dissuade the War Doctor from averting Cinder's death, implying that Ianto is currently alive, setting this between Last of the Time Lords and Children of Earth.
Set during Legacy.
Follows directly on from Legacy.
Set immediately after The Parting of the Ways.
Jack response to a letter from Gwen. It has been ten years since Ianto's death.
Set almost immediately after The Parting of the Ways.